Albanian Pulaku: 2012 Olympics first doping cheat

Athletes need to be in peak physical condition to be able to compete in the Olympics. And while the majority of the 1,000+ summer athletes do so without the use of illegal substances, the International Olympic Committee still has administered close to 1,000 drug tests for these Games.

Hysen Pulaku became the first to be removed from competition in London, after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Pulaku, who is 19 years old and hails from Albania, was scheduled to compete in the 77kg weight class.

Pulaku tested positive for an older drug called Stanozolol, which is easier to detect compared to newer types of steroids. The drug boosts testosterone, which in turn increases the rate of protein synthesis. It's easy to see why an Olympic bodybuilder would find benefit in such a drug, but why risk the potential Olympic disqualification?

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, "Of course it is always a sad day when a cheating athlete is caught. I hope there will not be more."

Pulaku's camp will not contest the drug test and didn't contest the result, an indication that the he knew he was actively doping. Pulaku now faces a two year sanction from the international weightlifting federation.

He now faces a possible two-year sanction by the international weightlifting federation. Pushing one's body to the limit is nothing new to the Olympic Games, but when athletes use steroids to do so it becomes dangerous and potentially life-altering. It must be asked what role the coaches play in leading athletes to steroids. Former German Athlete Heidi Kreiger was unknowingly taking steroids while training, which altered her mindset so much that she elected to undergo a sex change operation. The dangers of anabolic steroids are astounding, and we hope no more athletes are forced out of the London Olympics because of them. According to sources, 107 athletes never even made it to London before being ruled ineligible because of doping.

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